Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Who could give life to bones that have crumbled to dust?

Fala yahzunka qawluhum inna naAAlamu ma yusirroona wama yuAAlinoona
  • 36:76 (Asad) However, be not grieved by the sayings of those [who deny the truth]: verily, We know all that they keep secret as well as all that they bring into the open.

  • Awalam yara alinsanu anna khalaqnahu min nutfatin faitha huwa khaseemun mubeenun
  • 36:77 (Asad) IS the human, then, not aware that it is We who create him out of a [mere] drop of sperm - whereupon, lo! s/he shows himself endowed with the power to think and to argue? [45]
  • Note 45 (Quran Ref: 36:77 )
    See similar passage in 16:4, as well as the corresponding note 5. Completing the inter­pretation advanced in his (and Zamakhshari’s) commentary on the above-mentioned verse, Razi equates here the term khasim (lit., "contender in argument") with the highest manifestation of what is described as natiq ("articulate [or "rational"] being").(Quran Ref: 36:77 )

  • Wadaraba lana mathalan wanasiya khalqahu qala man yuhyee alAAithama wahiya rameemun
  • 36:78 (Asad) And [now] s/he [argues about Us, and] thinks of Us in terms of comparison, [46] and is oblivious of how s/he himself was created! [And so] s/he says, “Who could give life to bones that have crumbled to dust?”
  • Note 46 (Quran Ref: 36:78 )
    Lit., "he coins for Us a simile (mathal)" - an elliptic allusion to the unwillingness of "those who deny the truth" to conceive of a transcendental Being, fundamentally different from all that is graspable by man’s senses or imagination, and having powers beyond all comparison with those which are available to any of the created beings. (Cf. 42:11, "there is nothing like unto Him", and 112:4, "there is nothing that could be compared with Him".) Since they are enmeshed in a materialistic outlook on life, such people deny - as the sequence shows - all possibility of resurrection, which amounts to a denial of God’s creative powers and, in the final analysis, of His existence.(Quran Ref: 36:78 )

  • Qul yuhyeeha allathee anshaaha awwala marratin wahuwa bikulli khalqin AAaleemun
  • 36:79 (Asad) Say: “He who brought them into being in the first instance will give them life [once again], seeing that He has full knowledge of every act of creation:

  • Allathee jaAAala lakum mina alshshajari alakhdari naran faitha antum minhu tooqidoona
  • 36:80 (Asad) He who produces for you fire out of the green tree, so that, lo! you kindle [your fires] therewith.” [47]
  • Note 47 (Quran Ref: 36:80 )
    Cf. the ancient Arabian proverb, "In every tree there is a fire" (Zamakhshari): evidently an allusion to the metamorphosis of green - i.e., water-containing - plants into fuel, be it through desiccation or man-made carbonization (charcoal), or by a millennial, subterranean process of decomposition into oil or coal. In a spiritual sense, this "fire" seems also to symbolize the God-given warmth and light of human reason spoken of in verse 77 above.(Quran Ref: 36:80 )

  • Awalaysa allathee khalaqa alssamawati waalarda biqadirin AAala an yakhluqa mithlahum bala wahuwa alkhallaqu alAAaleemu
  • 36:81 (Asad) Is, then, He who has created the heavens and the earth not able to create [anew] the like of those [who have died]? Yea, indeed - for He alone is the all-knowing Crea­tor:

  • Innama amruhu itha arada shayan an yaqoola lahu kun fayakoonu
  • 36:82 (Asad) His Being alone [48] is such that when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, “Be” — and it is.
  • Note 48 (Quran Ref: 36:82 )
    This is the meaning of the phrase innama amruhu - the term amr being synonymous, in this instance, with shan ("state [or "manner"] of being"). The exclusiveness of God’s creative Being is stressed by the restrictive particle innama.(Quran Ref: 36:82 )

  • Fasubhana allathee biyadihi malakootu kulli shayin wailayhi turjaAAoona
  • 36:83 (Asad) Limitless, then, in His glory is He in whose hand rests the mighty dominion over all things; and unto Him you all will be brought back!

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